[Lottery sale until June 23] Chichibu Distillery / Kishin Shinoyama “DOUBLE FANTASY” WHISKY

New Release
New Release
Chichibu Distillery (Ichiro's Malt)

The drawing for Ichiro’s Malt with that world-famous photo on the label will begin on June 19.


1. Chichibu Distillery / Kishin Shinoyama “DOUBLE FANTASY” WHISKY Black, Standard&White, Premium

1-1. Bottle Details & Specs

The world-famous photo is on the label.
Whiskey spun by Kishin Shinoyama, John & Yoko, and Ichiro Hido

In September 1980, photographer Kishin Shinoyama was invited to New York to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This was John’s first time in five years, and for the purpose of photographing the album jacket of “Double Fantasy,” an album he co-wrote with Yoko.

The concept of the album “Double Fantasy” is “dialogue. It is a kind of musical conversation between the two of them. Shinoyama’s approach to photography is always to simply create an intimate and friendly atmosphere, capturing moments in a very natural way. John and I were the same age at the time, 40, and while we had personal conversations, I was also able to capture them as a family, including their son, Sean, at the Dakota House, capturing about 800 photos during our five-day stay.

One of the photos, later to become world famous, was taken at a pond in Central Park when the sun was setting but the sky was still bright. Shinoyama said, “I ordered him to kiss me, and he did just that. It was so beautiful, so intimate, it was like a moment from everyday life. It was a perfect moment,” he says, and it captured a beautiful moment full of tenderness. This photo was used for the album cover of “Double Fantasy”.

When thinking of a whisky suitable for this one and the other cut, whisky critic Hideo Yamaoka came up with the idea of a blended whisky, a beautiful fusion of Scotch and Japanese. Thinking of the weight of time and the harmony between the three, including Shinoyama, that has not faded 43 years after the filming, he asked Ichiro Hido of the Chichibu Distillery if he could blend whiskies based on the concept of wishing for peace. Shinoyama had been evacuated to Chichibu as a child and agreed to make whisky in Chichibu, where he had such a connection.

The whisky has a subtle oriental flavor, which Shinoyama also likes, and we imagine that John, who is impressed by Japanese culture, would like it as well.

This whisky was spun from a photographic story. We hope that you will open the bottle and enjoy the time spent in the spirit of collaboration, valuing dialogue and wishing for peace.

We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Kishin Shinoyama, who graciously agreed to this project and looked forward to the completion of the bottle.

Reference: WHISKY MEW | Original Whisky Online Store Whisky Mew | Double Fantasy

Product Name “DOUBLE FANTASY” label whisky
Black/Standard (ICHIRO’S MALT)
Sake type Blended malt whisky
Year of distillation A blend of 5 to 21 year old distillates
Number of bottles sold 1,200 bottles
Number of bottles 48%
Volume 700ml
Price 27,500 yen (tax included)

Product name “DOUBLE FANTASY” label whisky
White Premium (ICHIRO’S MALT & GRAIN)
Alcohol category Blended Whisky
Year of distillation 7 year old Chichibu and 21-25 year old Scotch malt whisky
A secret 47 year old whisky
Number of bottles sold 300 bottles
Degrees of alcohol content 58%
Content Volume 700ml
Price 55,000 yen (tax included)

1-2. Tasting Notes

  Black/Standard White・Premium
Aroma Soft and mild.
Moderately sweet and elegant. Beautifully malty, with a hint of mint in the background.
Slightly buttery but refined.
Wonderfully complex. Dried citrus peel.
Slightly grassy. Cinnamon tea with milk.
Cookies with nuts.
Elegant toffee candy.
Flavor Smooth and fruity.
Well balanced, never boring to drink.
The finish is mildly spicy and lingers slowly.
When watered, it has the fruity character of grated apple.
The flavor is profound.
Grape skins and branches. Many kinds of spices.
Taste of charcoal and old wood. Slightly clay.
Tropical fruits in the back.
Finish is moderately long, incense at the end.
When watered down, it becomes clearer.
Overall evaluation A blended made exclusively from Chichibu and several Scotch malts.
Nostalgic and full of tenderness.
A small amount of 76 distilled Kawasaki and that Speyside malt,
great impact on the whole.
It is composed of more than 98% malt.

2. How to purchase

“DOUBLE FANTASY” label whisky
1) Black Standard (ICHIRO’S MALT)
Price including tax 27,500 yen

2)White Premium (ICHIRO’S MALT & GRAIN)
Price including tax 55,000 yen

Number of lottery sales: (1) 910 bottles (total of 1200 bottles) (2) 210 bottles (total of 300 bottles)
Lottery reservation period: Wednesday, June 19, 2024 (12:00) – Sunday, June 23, 2024 (23:59)

Each person is limited to one of either two bottles at a time. Applications from roommates will be void.
You need to register as a member of “WHISKY MEW” to apply.
If you are already a registered member and have changed your address, please do so before applying.
You will receive an e-mail “Notification of Lottery Reservation Application Completion” when your lottery reservation application is completed. Please set up your environment so that you can receive the e-mail (info@whiskymew.jp).

↓Please be sure to read the following information.

WHISKY MEW | Chichibu Distillery / Kishin Shinoyama “DOUBLE FANTASY” WHISKY Information on how to make a lottery reservation

2. What is Chichibu Distillery and Kawasaki Distillery?

Distillery name Chichibu Distillery
Location of distillery 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama 368-0067
Start of operation 2007

Chichibu Distillery produces single malt whisky rooted in the Chichibu region.

The founder, Mr. Ichiro Hido, takes pride in the fact that the malt whisky is Japanese whisky, and produces it by hand with a small mill, mash tun, oak fermentation tanks, and pot stills made by Forsyths of Scotland.

The Chichibu Distillery is surrounded by rich nature, clean air, and high quality water. The summer is hot and humid, and the mornings and evenings are cold, even below freezing. The difference in temperature between the cold and hot in this harsh climate has a great influence on the maturation of the whisky, resulting in a fruity and well-balanced whisky despite the short maturation period.

Established in September 2004.
Chichibu Distillery was completed in 2007.
In February 2008, a license to make whisky was issued and whisky production began at the Chichibu Distillery.
In October 2019, the second distillery begins operations.

This distillery was established after Suntory Hakushu Distillery and Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery, which were established in 1973. This is the first distillery to be established in Japan in 35 years, at the very end of the whisky slump.
The annual production of whisky is only two days that of the Glenlivet distillery in Scotland.

The second distillery, which has been in operation since the fall of 2019, produces five times as much as the first distillery. The distillery produces 2 tons of malt at a time, and the pot stills are the same straight shape but much larger so that five times as much can be distilled. The distiller is Forsyth and uses a direct gas-fired distillation machine.

For more information about Chichibu Distillery, please visit

Chichibu Distillery (Ichiro’s Ma...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Kawasaki Distillery

Location 3-1 Suzuki-machi, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken
Start of operation 1935-2003

1934 Establishment of Showa Shuzo Co.
1935 Kawasaki Plant begins operations
1942 Changed the company name to Showa Nosan Kako Co.
1947 Began production of whiskey at Kawasaki Plant, selling “Sun Luck Whisky”.
At that time, the company did not yet manufacture original whisky, so it purchased original whisky and sold blended whisky.

1949 Name changed to Sanraku Shuzo Co.
1958 Increased whisky production and started producing malt whisky
1962 Merged with Ocean Corporation to form Sanraku Ocean Co.
1969 Begins production of grain whisky at the Kawasaki factory.
1980 Construction of grain whiskey storage facility at Kawasaki Plant
1985 The company name was changed to Sanraku Corporation.
1990 The company name was changed to Mercian Corporation.
2003 Production function of the Kawasaki factory was terminated. The plant was closed.
2007 Became an operating company of Kirin Holdings and became part of the Kirin Group.

Currently stores the original Kawasaki factory whisky at Venture Whisky’s Chichibu Distillery in Saitama Prefecture; in 2009, single grain Kawasaki “1982 Kawasaki,” “1981 Kawasaki,” and “1976 Kawasaki” whiskies were released using whisky distilled at the Kawasaki factory during the Sanraku Ocean era.
In the 2000s, Ichiro Hido purchased the last remaining barrels of 76-82.
It is not known how much of the original brew is left at present.


Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whisky and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whisky and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whisky? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whisky in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

Misato Ushiwata

Born in Fukushima Prefecture.
She attended a university in Tokyo, where she studied brewing and other sciences while translating articles for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

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